Do the Northwestern Wildcats Have a Quarterback Controversy?

By Scott Peceny

The two-quarterback system has been employed in college football for as long as I can remember, and rarely with much success. Quarterback is a difficult position to play when a guy is out there every down, let alone when he’s asked to come in mid-game and try to lead his team down the field.

I’ve never been one to condone the two-QB approach, but the Northwestern Wildcats had some success with it in 2012. Both Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian saw lots of snaps for the Wildcats, and both performed admirably.

Colter was the starter last season, and it is assumed that he will start again this season in what will be his senior year. A dual-threat QB, Colter passed for 872 yards and ran for 894 more in 2012. He threw for eight scores and rushed for 12, adding 16 catches for 169 yards as a receiver.

I guess you could say that Colter is a triple-threat quarterback.

Siemian, meanwhile was no slouch himself, racking up 1,312 yards and six touchdowns through the air. At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Siemian is the more prototypical pocket-passer and has a cannon for an arm.

The offense was potent for Northwestern last year: at 31.7 points per game, the Wildcats ranked 3rd in the Big Ten. Should head coach Pat Fitzgerald simply leave his quarterback situation as is? Or will the offense be better suited with just one man at the helm?

Looking at the track record of the two-quarterback system, I believe one QB is always better than two. These guys both have proven themselves to be capable QBs, but Colter’s athleticism and ability as a wideout means he should play there. The Wildcats wouldn’t lose anything by letting Siemian start at QB, and they would pick up a valuable weapon at wide receiver with Colter there.

Every players’ goal is to play in the NFL one day, and Colter can’t do that at quarterback. At just 6-foot-0, he will be disregarded by NFL scouts much to Russell Wilson’s chagrin. At wide receiver, Colter could help the Wildcats win and build his draft stock for 2014.

It can’t hurt Northwestern to give it a shot. If the experiment fails, Colter could be back at QB for the conference opener on October 5th.

Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny


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